Belly Dancing for Birth
I'm sure you've seen videos of the mommas dancing their way through their labors and births. I'm sure you've found it funny, maybe you even tried it. Maybe you're one of the ones that found amazing benefits, even just for comfort, from moving your pelvis. In fact, most of us that have tried this in pregnancy will continue to do this well after the baby is born because this isn't a pregnancy or woman-only movement. Do you know *why* this is helpful?
Belly dancing was historically done for pregnancy and labor. As with most traditions, it developed into more entertainment and theatric performace and lost its connection to a way of life. Let's talk about that connection a little bit.
Birth supporters and advocates are constantly talking about positioning of the body for a smoother birth. We all know (or should know) that sitting on your bum with you pelvis cocked forward or back lying in labor is 100 kinds of wrong for getting baby out in a healthy and happy way, right? We may even suggest a chiropractic adjustment or massage often to help align things. A physical therapist that specializes in women's health will take these treatments a step further and is definitely worth looking into so you can not just treat the symptom but fix the root problem of your discomfort and misalignment; but I want you to take a step further with your care because how you move regularly is how your pelvis and baby are aligned and appointments aren't going to fix the responsibility you have to take care of your body nutritionally and physically.... AND emotionally.
Belly dancing moves the baby. It moves the baby so that baby can move in the pelvis. What it also does is move the pelvis, ligaments, and muscles - including the uterus. If your uterus is tilted from not moving your body enough, your baby is going to be tilted. If your ligaments (way more than just the round ligaments in the front) are tight, they're going to tilt your cervix and overall cause more pain. If your body isn't hydrated, your myofascia will be brittle and crispy and no amount of chiro care is going to keep you aligned. If you're not moving and stretching and overall taking care of your muscles, ligaments, and bones - your body and baby won't be positioned well for birth. Belly dancing, rather big sensual movements of the pelvis in circles both ways and figure eights and dips and turns and just going with your body massages the ligaments, massages the muscles, moves the pelvis, turns the baby - it does all these things that many adjustments are trying to do, but dancing does it all at once from the inside out!
So take a look at the video above if you haven't already at what your baby might be doing inside that cozy womb while moving your pelvis 5 minutes every 30-60 minutes of the day.
The only thing you have to do is keep moving, and stay well well hydrated so that the myofascia doesn't get brittle. This is crucial. Likewise, if you have a desk job...etc., these movements can be done on a birth ball as well. Of course, this is only one piece of the puzzle and one movement you can add into your daily routine. There are a lot of other techniques you can use for optimal fetal positioning in pregnancy to not only prevent discomfort now and in labor, but also increase your ability for spontaneous birth. There are specifics to your situation that change the way these techniques are approached. You can scour the Spinning Babies website for a few of these tips, and if you're interested in learning more? Join me in a monthly birth class or for mentoring sessions online or locally.